PORT PHILLIP BAY


Smooth-handed Crab 

Pilumnopeus serratifrons (Kinahan, 1856)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace anteroposteriorly convex, dorsal surface with hairy granular crests. Front bilobed, lateral lobule separate from supraorbital angle; anterolateral margin with 4 teeth or lobes, first a broad lobe confluent with outer orbital angle; suborbital margin with a large tooth at inner end, visible in dorsal view. Sternum with fused somites 3-4 long, such that telson reaches less than half distance to suture 2-3; sternite 8 visible laterally in male. Pleopod 1 of male slender, sinuous, tip recurved.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Brachyura
Family:
Pilumnidae
Subfamily:
Pilumninae
Genus:
Pilumnopeus
Species:
serratifrons

General Description

Carapace length:width ratio 3:4. First 2 anterolateral lobes truncate, third sharp and fourth right-angled, margins of all marked with minute beads. Few scattered hairs on anterolateral regions of carapace.

Biology

Whereas many crabs will attempt to escape when disturbed or captured, pilumnud crabs play dead, curling their legs up to look as inconspicuous as possible. Their camouflage makes them difficult to see even when rocks are turned. Pilumnids are among the most difficult of crabs to identify to species in southern Australia, and close attention to the structure of the first pleopod (gonopod 1) of male specimens will be required to separate some closely related species.

Habitat

Estuarine, mud flats under stones, lower intertidal, to 13 m depth.

Soft substrates

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including New Zealand and south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Crabs and allies Crabs

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 1596

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Smooth-handed Crab, Pilumnopeus serratifrons, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5491

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